I have a friend who, in the past, would have confessed he was a Christian. Recently, things have changed. Twice in the last nine months, he has fallen away and doubted the authority of Scripture. Faced with this reality, the question “Can I really trust the Bible?” looms. Is the Bible really the word of God? Does it claim to be, seem to be, or prove to the very words of our Creator and Savior? Thanks to Barry Cooper’s Can I Really Trust the Bible? answers can be found to these questions. This book is the next in the Questions Christians Ask series and provides great help in showing the Bible’s claim as God’s word (chapters 1 and 2), the Bible as it seems to be the very words of God (chapter 3 and 4), and the Bible proving to be the true word of God (chapter 5).
This short book (81 pages) is packed with wisdom and great insights. Cooper aids Christians well in explaining terms like the “sufficiency of Scripture” (Cooper 12) and the “necessity of Scripture” (Cooper 17), phrases the average Christian may not fully understand. It doesn’t just stop with Christians, however. The gray-shaded sections examine common objections made against the Bible by non-Christians and counter their arguments. The most profound counter-argument may be in regards to the circular argument issue (Cooper 22-23). We all make circular arguments so it is no problem that we look to the Bible itself to know if it can be trusted. On the other hand, the Bible doesn’t try to prove the existence of a Creator. Why? Because “it’s just assumed o be as unmissable as the colossal flaming globe hanging over our heads” (Cooper 12). There we see the Bible is not to be used to answer every apologetic question we have but calls us to faith. Nevertheless, this book points out what the Bible is and who we are. The objection that the Bible has contradictions falls short in view of the tensions we see in the Bible. Instead of raising ourselves to be the authority over Scripture, we need to be reminded “we’re finite” and “we’re sinful” so we will not fully comprehend such matters (Cooper 57). The crucial point, I believe and as Cooper points out, is that “without the Holy Spirit within us we’ll never trust the Bible” (Cooper 73). It is only when does God a work on us that we trust in the Bible and, thus, act upon it (Cooper 69). So, in summary, Can I Really Trust the Bible? is a commendable resource to have on your bookshelf. While it may not answer all the questions you would like (although, it does have footnotes of books for further study), it begins the conversation. And it is a conversation worth starting.
I received this book for free from The Good Book Company via Cross Focused Reviews for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.